Site Evaluation Committee Won’t Decide Whether to Reconsider Northern Pass Until May

SOURCE: New Hampshire Union Leader
AUTHOR: Michael Cousineau

A state committee isn’t likely to decide whether to resuscitate the proposed Northern Pass hydroelectric transmission project until sometime in May, the committee’s attorney said Monday.

The Site Evaluation Committee deferred making a decision on requests to reopen deliberations on the proposed project after rejecting it in February.

The committee also voted Monday to suspend its Feb. 1 oral decision to reject the proposed $1.6 billion project until the committee issues its written decision sometime this month.

Committee attorney Michael Iacopino said after the half-hour hearing that filing deadlines likely would push the timeline into May for the committee to reconvene to decide on any motions, including any requests to throw out the committee’s verdict and resume deliberations.

Monday’s committee vote means Northern Pass can’t move forward with its proposed 192-mile project.

“This essentially means they’re kicking the can down the road,” project foe Jack Savage said afterward.

The SEC denial — and now the committee putting off any decision on reopening deliberations — puts into question whether Northern Pass can finalize a 20-year deal with Massachusetts officials by late March to supply hydropower and give the project a guaranteed buyer for its electricity.

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Sununu Blasts SEC On WTSN: Northern Pass Was ‘Railroaded’

SOURCE: InDepthNH
AUTHOR: Nancy West

As Massachusetts scrambles to proceed with its major clean energy project after Northern Pass’s application was recently denied, GOP Gov. Chris Sununu took to the radio on Friday to blast the Site Evaluation Committee’s unanimous 7 to 0 vote against building the controversial 192-mile powerline from Pittsburg to Deerfield.

Sununu said he was frustrated with the process in that the committee had four criteria to decide by law and chose to only look at one or two before voting it down in a surprise move on Feb. 1.

John Harrigan of Colebrook, a 50-year veteran newsman, called Sununu “the great disappearing governor.”

“It has been obvious for some time for going on eight years now that Sununu knew little or nothing about the project,” Harrigan said. “He demonstrated this time and again by displaying ignorance and arrogance about the North Country’s beautiful landscape and its fiercely independent people. The governor has been a no-show on this the whole time.”

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Site Evaluation Committee Unanimously Rejects Northern Pass Application

SOURCE: Concord Monitor
AUTHOR: Michael Casey

State regulators unanimously rejected an application for a hydropower project that would have provided clean energy to Massachusetts but was seen as an eyesore by critics who feared it would tarnish scenic views and damage New Hampshire’s tourism industry.

The Site Evaluation Committee voted 7-0 against the project over concerns about its impact on local business, tourism and development in the region, especially in the northern part of the state. The decision, which can be appealed, is a stunning setback for a project that first was proposed in 2010 and, after countless hearings and protests, appeared to be a done deal.

The $1.6 billion plan was set to bring hydropower from Canada by creating a transmission line through New Hampshire for customers in southern New England. The surprising decision comes a week after the project was selected from among dozens of bids to supply renewable energy in Massachusetts. It would have transmitted enough hydropower for about a million homes.

“We’re pleased, to say the least,” said Jane Difley, president of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. “This stands as a great victory for New Hampshire, our forests, and our landscape. It’s been a long, arduous battle, but New Hampshire has always been worth it.”

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